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MRI Technician Salary

What is the average salary of a MRI technician?

Salaries for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technicians vary significantly across the United States, and they can differ based on years on the job, location and even whether a tech has certification. As an indicator of the vast range of wages available in the field, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that, as of May 2014, pay ranged from $46,310 or less for those in the lowest 10 percent to $92,220 or higher for those in the highest 10 percent. However, the mean annual wage for MRI technicians was $67,300.

Additionally, the following can be key considerations when examining MRI technician salaries:

  • Level of Training and Education: Typically, the more education you have or are willing to obtain, the better the pay.
  • Geographic Location: Metropolitan areas pay more than rural areas, and coastal states pay more than Midwestern states.
  • Specializations and Certifications: The more certifications technicians have, the better their job prospects and salary potential.
  • Experience: More time on the job can result in better compensation.
  • Industry of Employment: Specialized industries pay MRI techs more than general industries, like hospitals.
  • Employer size: Smaller offices may not have the same financial resources as large facilities.

As an MRI technician gains experience, earns additional certifications and climbs the corporate ladder, their salary may grow accordingly. Also, some areas have higher MRI tech salaries than average, according to May 2014 BLS data. In Nevada, California, Hawaii, the District of Columbia and Massachusetts, the mean annual wage for MRI technicians is above $79,000.

Is this profession in high demand?

The BLS shows that job demand for MRI techs is expected to grow 24 percent from 2012 to 2022. This growth is much faster than average and could lead to 7,100 new positions becoming available across the country. There are several factors driving demand. This includes an aging baby boomer population who may need more health care services that use magnetic resonance imaging. Somewhat recent changes in federal law are also giving more people access to health care, creating a greater demand and need for services. Also, additional MRI services available in doctors' offices, and not just hospitals, should increase MRI tech demand.

Is there room for advancement?

There are many factors that come into play when initially finding a job and looking for advancement. The BLS reports that MRI techs willing to relocate to rural areas may have better opportunities for gaining employment. Another route to improving job potential is to seek MRI technician certification. Although certification may be required in some states just to be employed, in other states it may not be required but can provide job candidates with a competitive edge. One organization that offers certification is the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (AART). MRI techs working on certification through the AART need to have completed an accredited education program within the past three years, proving just how valuable an initial education can be.

Sources:

  1. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics, May 2014. http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes292035.htm
  2. Magnetic Resonance Imaging Technologists, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Jan. 8, 2014. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/radiologic-technologists.htm#tab-6

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